Curricular Experiential Learning Categories

Below are the seven categories of curricular experiential learning at the University of Guelph. This listing includes definitions for each category, along with related examples of current courses/opportunities at the University of Guelph or University of Guelph-Humber. Some examples link to a detailed course profile that can help you better understand why a course has been correlated with a particular category and how it meets the MTCU criteria for experiential learning.

For a more comprehensive overview, you can also download the full Curricular Experiential Learning Typology or the Curricular Experiential Learning categories infographic.

Applied Research

Research conducted by a student under faculty guidance in an academic, industry, or community setting. Students engage in systematic investigation and research in their field and are evaluated by faculty supervisors or staff.

PSYC*3240 – Independent Research Project

Certificate Program

A program comprised of a required number of curated courses that   promote specialized knowledge acquisition and skill development through hands-on experience and classroom learning, undertaken alongside a degree.

Certificate in Civic Engagement and Global Citizenship
Certificate in Leadership

Co-operative Education

A program that integrates academic with paid workplace learning and skill development in a relevant field, through alternating work and study terms. Students receive a co-operative education certificate upon completion.

COOP*1000 – Co-op Work Term I

Community Engaged Learning (CEL)

A course that requires students to connect their learning and skill development to theoretical concepts through learning activities designed with a community organization to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

CIS*3750 – System Analysis and Design in Applications
UNIV*3000 – Civic Engagement and Service Learning

Field Course

A course that prepares students for professional work through first-hand investigation and analysis in a field location, led by faculty, for part of or the full duration of a semester.

GEOG*4690 – Geography Field Research

Professional Practice

A course or program that requires students to shadow or work under the guidance of a professional, such as a practicum, internship, or externship, in order to gain experience and develop skills related to a field of study.

VETM*4900 – Veterinary Externship
FCSS*2040 – Foundation Practicum I


A course that intentionally integrates activities such as structured projects, laboratory work, design, simulations, performances, case studies, or entrepreneurship to enable students to display their academic learning and skill development.

NUTR*4120 – Applied Clinical Skills
MDST*4210 – Media Practices

Experience Profiles